This project has been inspired by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. Regarding sustainability issues, there are 3 key problems:
- The problems are so overwhelming that individual people feel that they have no chance to make difference. Our students are acutely aware of the problems, yet they feel helpless.
- Vast problems require concrete changes in our behaviour, which is hard. It is much easier to point the finger at someone else. Very often, the blaming finger has been pointing to the agribusiness.
- The problems are so vast that no sector nor no single country can resolve them alone; we need to take a communal approach and learn from the good practices of others. This project seeks solutions to these problems in our context: VET within the green sector. Instead of being part of the problem, the agribusiness sector needs to part of the solution. The hope lies in young people and education, but we need to develop VET and tackle real-life issues communally and in international cooperation.
Therefore, this project has 3 main goals:
- To empower students to contribute to the SDGs. For this, we need -learner-centred pedagogical approaches, -to give them a positive experience of tackling issues communally, and in international cooperation, -provide them with the skills and networks needed to continue to do so in the future.
- To empower students, teaching staff needs to be well-equipped to provide meaningful education for sustainability – with the contribution of representatives from the world of work, – using authentic, real-life learning challenges related to SDG 12 and 13, – and innovative, learner-centered pedagogical approaches.
- We need to develop innovative sustainability solutions and share them, as well as other good practices, in our own regions and in the whole field.
How? The developing partners will arrange 4 workshops in which an innovative, learner-centred pedagogical approach is presented to the others in practice. During the workshops international student teams (EQF levels 3-4) tackle a real-life challenge that’s related to the SDGs and provided by regional stakeholders. This enables the students to increase key competences such as communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and boundary-crossing skills, and to network with their future European colleagues while inspiring them to solving problems in European cooperation and empowering them. The workshop allows the teachers to learn the innovative pedagogical approach and evaluate how it should be localized to better fit their own context. To disseminate the pedagogical approaches wider, we will develop Manuals. The Manuals will be tested by 4 testing partners. Each will arrange a workshop in their own country piloting one approach, which will provide direct feedback on the transferability of the pedagogical approaches and on the usefulness of the Manuals. The aspect of sharing good practices will also be covered in the workshops: At least 2 innovative sustainability solutions from regional stakeholders in each of the partner countries will be shared. This will inspire the students and widen the knowledge of the teachers. We will collect these good practices to support the dissemination among regional stakeholders in each country. In addition, we will collect the real-life learning challenges tackled during the workshops and the solutions developed by the student teams. These provide good practices and inspiration to other farmers. In addition, they will serve as teaching material as such for other VET providers within the green sector. The Intellectual Outputs will be disseminated by each partner according to our carefully designed dissemination strategy. The VET providers in the green sector being very well organized both at national and European level through the Europea International network. Therefore, this project has a good chance to reach considerable sectoral impact: -Our students will be empowered to become ambassadors of sustainability engaging in active citizenship regarding sustainability issues. -The 4 innovative pedagogical approaches will spread to other schools in Europe, improving the quality of VET in the green sector. -Green VET schools will involve companies, regional authorities and other stakeholders so students can contribute to tackling environmental problems together, thus improving the labour market relevance of VET and enhancing its attractiveness in the eyes of the students. -Good practices and innovative solutions in the field of sustainability will spread between schools, stakeholders such as companies, professional bodies, municipalities, regions and countries. On a long term, this will help the agribusiness to develop in a future-proof way, in line with EU policy. All in all, this project will, for its part, contribute to the achievement of the European and global sustainability goals in the green sector and develop the quality and attractiveness of VET.